Thought suppression failures in combat PTSD: a cognitive load hypothesis.
ABSTRACT The present study investigated the relation between thought suppression of emotionally neutral content [i.e., Wegner's (1994) "white bear"], incidental traumatic thought intrusion, and skin conductance responses in combat-related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Participants included service members who either: a) had PTSD following an Operation Iraqi Freedom deployment; b) were free of psychiatric diagnosis following deployment (Combat Equivalent), or c) were pre-deployed and without psychiatric diagnosis (Pre-Deployed). PTSD Service Members reported the greatest intrusion of combat thoughts during the suppression task and demonstrated a post-suppression rebound effect with a neutral thought. Non-specific skin conductance responses indicated that the suppression task was related to similar levels of increased sympathetic activity for both the PTSD and Pre-Deployed groups, whereas the Combat Equivalent group showed no increased activation during thought suppression. Intrusive traumatic thoughts combined with failures in neutral thought suppression may be a consequence of increased cognitive load in PTSD.
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ABSTRACT: The study of resilience in development has overturned many negative assumptions and deficit-focused models about children growing up under the threat of disadvantage and adversity. The most surprising conclusion emerging from studies of these children is the ordinariness of resilience. An examination of converging findings from variable-focused and person-focused investigations of these phenomena suggests that resilience is common and that it usually arises from the normative functions of human adaptational systems, with the greatest threats to human development being those that compromise these protective systems. The conclusion that resilience is made of ordinary rather than extraordinary processes offers a more positive outlook on human development and adaptation, as well as direction for policy and practice aimed at enhancing the development of children at risk for problems and psychopathology.American Psychologist 04/2001; 56(3):227-38. · 6.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sexually victimized individuals often report chronic attempts to avoid unpleasant internal experiences (e.g., thoughts, emotions, memories) as a means of affect regulation. The aim of this study was to expand upon previous findings by examining the relationships among negative mood, thought suppression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a sample of adult women with a history of sexual assault after age 14 and assault-related intrusions in the past week. Chronic thought suppression partially mediated the relationship between negative mood and PTSD symptom severity after covarying the use of worry to control unpleasant thoughts. Findings extend previous studies and suggest that chronic thought suppression may help explain the link between negative mood and PTSD.Journal of Traumatic Stress 11/2006; 19(5):741-5. · 2.72 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study examined the relationships between experiential avoidance in general (and thought suppression in particular), posttraumatic stress symptom severity, and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and somatization among a sample of individuals exposed to multiple potentially traumatic events. Although experiential avoidance was not associated with severity of posttraumatic stress symptoms beyond their shared relationship with general psychiatric symptom severity, it was associated with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and somatization when controlling for posttraumatic stress symptom severity. Thought suppression, on the other hand, was associated with severity of posttraumatic stress symptoms when controlling for their shared relationship with general psychiatric symptom severity. No significant relationships were found between thought suppression and the presence of depression, anxiety, and somatization symptoms when controlling for posttraumatic stress symptom severity. Results suggest the importance of separately examining the influence of different forms of experiential avoidance on posttraumatic psychopathology.Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease 12/2004; 192(11):754-61. · 1.84 Impact Factor